Criminal Minds Post Mortem: Just Like That, a Shocking Twist Sets the Stage for Episode 200

Criminal Minds JJ KidnappedCriminal Minds‘ 200th episode officially got underway this Wednesday night, during the final seconds of No. 199.

As an otherwise typical episode (about a vigilante killer as well as Rossi’s reunion with his former Marine Sergeant) came to a close, JJ’s after-work walk was cut short when a gloved hand grabbed her from behind, muffling her scream, while her cell phone tumbled to the pavement.

RELATED | Criminal Minds Exclusive: BSG Vet Tahmoh Penikett Cast in Movie-Like Episode 200

As previously reported, the CBS crime drama’s milestone episode (airing Feb. 5) will, among other things, shed light on Jareau’s time at the State Department, which took place off-camera during Season 6. “The person who has her captive is someone that she met three years ago when she was on assignment,” showrunner Erica Messer previews.

One distinct aspect of Episode 200 is that it puts JJ (played by A.J. Cook) in great and harrowing jeopardy, as much an UnSub’s helpless victim as the usual guest star.

“The people who have her are known for horrible torture techniques, so the threat is there, that something could happen to our sweet JJ,” says Messer. As such, “It was really interesting to watch one of our main characters have to do something that our guest cast does every week, which is scream and cry and be tortured. And so disheartening. To ask one of our heroes to do that was, I think, very uncomfortable for us to watch.”

RELATED | Criminal Minds Episode 200 Scoop on Hotch and Prentiss

Episode 200 also, and starting almost immediately once it begins, will flash back to JJ’s time away from the BAU, offering insight into her abductor’s origins and agenda. That narrative device affords opportunity for Paget Brewster to reprise her role as Prentiss in new flashbacks — yet she also resurfaces in the present timeline, so dire is the threat to one of the BAU’s own.

“I believe Hotch’s line is, ‘Let’s call in reinforcements,'” Messer shares, “and then you cut to London, England and this amazing office, and Prentiss is there in charge, like the queen looking over her domain. It’s pretty great. She’s a driving force in the episode.”

Guest stars for the episode include, as reported by TVLine, Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica, Dollhouse) and Farah Tahir (Warehouse 13, Dallas).

RELATED | Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Cancelled? What’s on the Bubble?

When TVLine spoke with Messer, she had just turned in the producers’ cut of the landmark hour, which she says plays every bit like the special installment it should be. “It looks like a movie,” she raved. “The production values are insane.”

Want more scoop on Criminal Minds, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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52 Comments
  1. Angela says:

    Off the topic of the stuff with JJ for a moment-that bit with Rossi’s friend meeting his grandson for the first time was sweet. Got me a bit choked up.
    I’d heard that JJ would be put in danger, but I wasn’t sure how they were going to have that happen, so, yeah, that ending was…eek. And it’s going to definitely be tough seeing her in danger in the upcoming episode, too, as it always is with the team. Considering the way Reid was a bit concerned about her in this episode as well, I’m just rather curious to see what else happens there.
    Glad to know that Emily’s going to be actually helping out and that it won’t solely be a flashback thing with her appearance. Can’t wait…this is going to be a long two weeks.

    • Bianca says:

      AMEN to that, haha. I love JJ, and I am SO HAPPY that they are giving this dramatic element to her character. We have seen with her attitude towards Cruz, that SOMETHING definitely went down at the State Dept that is going to be amazing to see. As much as it’s going to make me cringe seeing her hurt, the attention and drama has been more than earned by AJ Cook :D

  2. analythinker says:

    Prentiss is back???

  3. Birdie says:

    Both Reid & Prentiss have been taken by unsubs before & tortured. Nothing new with that.

    • uh huh says:

      THANK YOU! I was thinking the exact same thing. Nothing special.

      • Hotch says:

        Okay, you’re off the team looking for JJ!

      • Exactly! It is, indeed, one of the more over-used story lines on TV lately, and I think it is definitely not worthy of such a big milestone as the 200th episode. And besides Reid and Prentiss, it is fair to remember that Morgan could have been easily killed by at least three different subjects: the man that wanted the twins in season one, who knocked him down with electricity, then Foyet “couldn’t” kill him because he was, again, knocked out, and then the creepy guy that killed a police detective and left him tied and yet, inexplicably, mostly unharmed.

    • Lauren says:

      I think you’re confusing “distinct” with “unique.” All this is saying is that it’s not regular.

    • big cheddar says:

      And Hotch as well. Foyer (sic) tortured him before he went after Harley and Jack.

    • Julie says:

      I was thinking the same thing. I think Emily has had the crap kicked out of her multiple times on this show, not to mention the whole table-leg-in-the-gut thing.

    • Galia Amys says:

      I know there’s Reid and Hotch and Prentiss and Blake even but to me it’s never boring or tiring to watch, it’s always terrifying and exciting.. there’s always a different & interesting story to that abduction and interesting how it effects the characters and the actors ALWAYS deliver so yes this is great! I knew this was freaking coming because I’m a spoiler addict but still I’m freaked OUT! I really can’t wait to see the 200 episode I’m sure it will be incredible!

    • Dav says:

      Yeah, when she made the comment about having one of the Heroes in the hands of an unsub all I could think was “been there, done that.” Now, that’s not to say this episode won’t be good…just that it’s not something new.

    • Debbie says:

      Yes, and those were painful to watch as well! As with any of our favorite characters being hurt. This is a great show and the story just so absorbing! Thank you.

  4. Nobody cares says:

    Who cares if this isn’t the first time a member of the team has been tortured? It’s going to be under completely new and different circumstances. Get over yourself and enjoy the show for what it is. Or don’t watch it, and don’t come on here and complain.

    • uh huh says:

      When the show runner says this: ““It was really interesting to watch one of our main characters have to do something that our guest cast does every week, which is scream and cry and be tortured. And so disheartening. To ask one of our heroes to do that was, I think, very uncomfortable for us to watch.” as if it was something no main cast member had ever done or witnessed before, that’s just stupid.

      • Angela says:

        I get that that’s how it can read-it threw me a bit at first, too. But I’m guessing that she probably meant that no matter how many times it happens (and as noted, it’s happened a LOT), it’s always interesting yet tough to see a team member in danger. Just that, for whatever reason, it didn’t come out very clearly. People do misspeak sometimes, after all.

      • It’s Messer… what do you expect? If she was around when Reid got tortured it wasn’t as show runner. And that alone was hard to watch. He went through more than Prentiss did (granted he wasn’t impaled… but he was drugged).

        But it will be interesting to see what happens in episode 200 now.

      • I totally agree. It is, indeed, stupid.

      • DawnAlison says:

        I think Reid was tortured possibly the worst..I mean omg having a piece of fire wood slammed onto your foot..like holy crud. Not to mention the emotional torture, having to choose someone that dies…and than the unsub screaming because he knows noone can hear him. And then holy crud, again, having to dig your own grave while hearing the unsub say ‘I oughta bury you alive in there’ like god, i’d break like an egg. But yeah…Hotch has it 2nd worst…I mean that poor guy, his family murdered, getting stapped, what, 18 times, over all, we know who the favorites are.

        • JJ says:

          I think this would be a great story line to follow up with regarding a better and more intense connection that Reid and JJ already share. They have both kidnapped and tortured and I think this would be a special bonding experience for them…and of course, I love Reid and JJ together, so there! :)

    • Bianca says:

      Agreed!!! :D

  5. Danyelle says:

    Ahhhhh I love this, that ending made me jump. Thanks for all the CM scoop lately, was worried the show was losing buzz. 200 sounds like it’ll be amazing. My Prentiss, the queen!

    • Julie says:

      Can. Not. Wait. I hope her time filming made her realize just how much she misses her buddies at CM and she wants to come back for good. :-)

      • Ann says:

        I wish she would. That would be awesome! I’m glad she agreed to come back for the guest appearance.

      • Dixie says:

        Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Emily Prentiss returned to the series? I don’t think Paget’s been all that successful since she left CM. I give her credit for wanting to try something different; but this is “show business”, and when you are lucky enough to be in a hit series, that’s golden. There was such great chemistry within the entire cast, and Emily was a fine mix of both humor and logic. Truthfully, I’m looking forward to Episode 200 no matter what happens. The writers promise to answer a lot of questions. Let’s make the remainder of this season a complete success and rid the series of Beth-the-Bore and Blake. Jeanne Tripplehorn and Bellamy Young are both fine actresses (take a look at BY on Scandal – she’s first rate); but they have proven to be total disasters on CM. If Emily returns, we won’t need Blake. She can take off with her husband and live happily ever after. As for Ms. Clemmons, she deserves a transfer to Italy. That would be a dream come true for any art curator, or whatever she is. I’m confident that there is something/someone much more worthy of Hotch and Jack just waiting in the wings. Message to Writers – Your fans are psyched? Don’t let us down!

        • Molly says:

          Paget Brewster has been very successful since she left Criminal Minds. She’s guest starred on a few great shows in the past year and even did a pilot, although it wasn’t picked up. It’s not like every casting someone goes to they’ll immediately get, and there aren’t that many great things out there right now. Just because she’s not in everything doesn’t mean she’s no successful.

    • Olivia says:

      I am SO pumped! Bring it Prentiss, my body is ready :)

  6. scotlore says:

    Does anyone know if there will be any cameos in the Criminal Mind’s episode by JJ’s
    on-screen husband, Will?

    • Angela says:

      From what I’ve read elsewhere online, yes. Sounds like pretty much almost everyone of note is coming back for the episode.

    • j says:

      Yes, Will and Henry are back.

    • Alan says:

      they couldnt do a story about jj being kidnapped without will and henry being a part of it, of course they are going to be there. i really hope will gets involved with helping the team because that was really fun the last time they did it back in season 7.

  7. Galia Amys says:

    On a more personal level or comment: omg JJ! :O yes it’s always scary and exciting but it happening to my very favorite character brings this to a whole other level of terrifying and exciting.. actually I’m really, really terrified right now thanks to Erica Messer’s comment. Poor JJ. People here are “huh no this is not shocking” but for me it really is.

  8. Forwardad says:

    Why a two week wait?

    • LEP says:

      I would guess to put it in the February sweeps time frame. (But that kind of makes me wonder why several shows aren’t due back with new episodes until March, so what do I know?)

  9. j says:

    We need a major hug between JJ and Emily on Feb. 5th. Just saying…..

  10. Leslie says:

    Hummm…a dangerous man from a previous job comes back and kidnaps a female agent and possible tortures her. Where have I heard that before….

  11. LDSK says:

    I honestly don’t care what the story is about. I’m just excited to see Prentiss again!

  12. Barbie says:

    I think what she meant by huge is because we’re talking JJ here. It’s not kickass Prentiss or Hotch or anyone. It’s sweet, kind, the heart of the show (as in, she’s been all heart) JJ! They’re going to do horrible things to this sweet, kind, motherly person. It breaks me. She’s my favorite and I have my heart of my throat. I know I’m gonna cry the whole episode. I just really hope this doesn’t turn her into a dark, angsty character, but a survivor <3

  13. Beth says:

    I feel like I wanted a bit more lead up to JJ being taken, just a few more hints leading up to 199. The show can do subtlty, but sometimes it’s either too subtle or too OTT, not much middle ground.

    I like that we don’t know everything that is going on yet, and I know the audience has noticed JJ’s changes, but I’d have liked the team to show more awareness over the last three seasons concering JJ’s changes.

    I’m looking forward to the 200th now, but I hope JJ’s arc doesn’t get all wrapped up in one episode. It doesn’t have to be the focus of every episode after 200, but I’d like to see a bigger arc for JJ with her dealing with whatever is going to happen in the 200th episode and for the 200th to be the beginning rather than end of JJ’s season 9 storyline.

    I can’t wait to see aj bring it in the 200th and silence the naysayers either…

  14. Allison says:

    What did Reid say to JJ in the elevator at the end of episode 199?

  15. Mara says:

    I agree with some of the posts above that CM has kind of been there done that with the “team member being kidnapped/tortured” thing. It loses its luster after awhile, and we’ve already watched it happen with Reid, Hotch, and Prentiss. I can kind of give the writers a break for that, it’s hard to keep coming up with new stuff over nine seasons.

    What irks me more is they seem to slowly be turning JJ into Prentiss. Maybe I’m wrong, but I keep seeing different things come up that convince me of this. The entire “has a secret covert operations past she’s hidden from the team that’s now coming back to bite her” plot screams Prentiss. She also seems a lot snarkier and more cynical ala Prentiss. I think there was even an episode a season or so ago where JJ started speaking Spanish or something out of nowhere – total Prentiss move. To me, it detracts from both characters to make them so similar. I have no problem with JJ as the bada** profiler, I just wish the writers would try and maker her more unique. The whole hand to hand combat skills thing that JJ has shown in the last few years is cool and unique to JJ. She can kick butt without being Prentiss 2.0.

    Just my 2 cents. I thought last week’s episode was solid, and I’m still eagerly looking forward to seeing all of my favorites in 200.

    • Molly says:

      I SO agree! Right when Emily left, all of a sudden JJ could speak Spanish. Her linguistic ability was one of the only things that set Emily apart from everyone else and it was a complete bitch move to take that away from her. Then suddenly JJ’s a profiler and knows everything when she’d been the liaison for 6 years? It doesn’t make sense, and it wasn’t fair to Emily’s character at all.

    • Disagree says:

      Ok yeah it is kinda like Prentiss, but when you think about it JJ left before that happened to Prentiss. So yeah. But im not trying to be mean, Im just stating a fact